Users of leading social networking sites Facebook and Twitter experienced difficulty yesterday as the services came under attack.
It's not been a great week for Twitter. First it gets sued and then it gets hit with a denial of service attack , forcing the site offline for several hours and then causing it to run slowly for several more hours as engineers got everything back in order again.
Twitter has taken pains to reassure users that no personal data was compromised during the attack and in a statement on its official blog said:
"We've worked hard to achieve technical stability and we're proud of our Engineering and Operations teams. Nevertheless, today's massive, globally distributed attack was a reminder that there's still lots of work ahead."
Facebook also came under attack at about the same time, although weathered the storm better, with the site still working for most people. Facebook spokeswoman Kathleen Loughlin was also quick to reassure people that their personal information was safe:
"No user data was at risk and we have restored full access to the site for most users," she said. "We're continuing to monitor the situation to ensure that users have the fast and reliable experience they've come to expect from Facebook."
While it could be coincidence that both sites were attacked on the same day it seems unlikely, and given the relatively soft nature of the targets, my money is on someone doing it for 'lulz'. On the other hand, Twitter's role in getting news out of Iran during the demonstrations over the results of the presidential elections means that there's a chance that this might be something much more serious.